Rockism 101 discussion

Head To Head match-up: > small business VS large corporations

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message 1: by Ed (new)

Ed Wagemann (edwagemann) | 992 comments Prior to the 1980s over 50% of our economy was generated by small business. After the Reagan years and ever since our economy has been dominated by large corporations.
The Wal-Marts of the world have all but wiped out the Ma and Pas of the world.

Has this been a good thing or a bad thing?

Do you think the USA should regulate and legislate our economy so that it returns to a small-business centered economy or do you prefer the large corporate-based economy?

message 2: by Robb (new)

Robb Bridson I think it has been a mixed bag. More efficiency. But it's also why we have "too big to fail" banks.
It gave us Walmart.
But also Costco.
And my guess is that more small businesses would be like little Walmarts, given their relative insecurity.

Small businesses can provide fewer benefits, leaving the government more on the hook... which is fine with me, if we can foster the public will to allow for significant change in the welfare state.

But keep in mind not all sectors of the economy are the same. Some are natural monopolies, some natural oligopolies. Competition at its best leads to innovation, at its worst to races to the bottom and redundancy.
Unless we are willing to craft a well-thought-out government superstructure to incentivize innovation while punishing races to the bottom (the opposite of modern "globalization" economics)... it won't help anything to go small. It will just decrease efficiency.

message 3: by Tanjlisa (last edited Dec 21, 2012 07:27AM) (new)

Tanjlisa Marie (tanjlisamarie) | 234 comments Well, this is what I don't get about America. You can be successful, but not too successful. Wal-Mart started off as a small business and because of its success it is now a freaking country within its own right. What are you suggesting exactly? That when a company becomes too successful there are rules and regulations to keep them within some predetermined perimeter to keep them small?

message 4: by Robb (new)

Robb Bridson Tanjlisa wrote: "Well, this is what I don't get about America. You can be successful, but not too successful. Wal-Mart started off as a small business and because of its success it is now a freaking country within ..."

If a company gets too big, it eliminates competition.
You could say that the loss in innovation will lead to a new company forming and blah blah blah...
But that's overlooking the barriers to entry placed on new firms, largely by the presence of large oligopolistic firms.

That's just the general economic argument.
From the standpoint of a liberal or progressive, Walmart's largeness creates a race to the bottom by forcing its competition to focus on reduced costs over increased quality, and increased shareholder profit over increased worker prosperity and consumer safety.

Of course... Walmart and bigness isn't as much to blame as federalism, which turns our states into customers for industry competing to see who can bribe the company the most by selling off the well-being of its people and the revenue they provide...
So, yeah, I don't blame Walmart as much as our government structure and lack of regulation for that... but anti-trust law is certainly part of the equation.

message 5: by Ed (last edited Dec 29, 2012 10:42AM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (edwagemann) | 992 comments ~Our current large multinational corporation-based economy encourages a lack of sensible spending.

~It encourages a lack of taking responsibility for one's own actions.

~Consumers rely on the big corporations to tell them what is right and wrong. To tell them what they could do or not do. That's frickin assinine!

~the large corporatin-based economic model means that we start dehumanizing people - seeing people as numbers instead of individuals.

~It also gives more opportunity for accumulating power and abusing it.

~AND it also allows unethical behavior to be more easily covered up or to be drowned in red tape and to slip through the cracks.

As I've argued for before, I think a better version of our economy would be one which is based on small businesses generating the economy instead of huge multi-national conglomerates generating it.

In order to do this we would have to declare war on corporatism. This would include the following measures:

~Tax the hell out of large corporations. Take away all the advantages that they have over small businesses. Make it so that small businesses are no longer at a disadvantage.

~Enact and enforce FAIR trade policies. One large factor as to why so many small businesses fail is because of the unfair advantage and the predatory tactics of the superstores like Wal-mart (for example). Fair Trade instead of Free Trade (i.e, holding other nations to the same environmental and human rights standards that the US and Europe has) would mean that it would be more costly for these large corporations to produce things in other countries. And that would mean that locally produced, small business products would be able to compete in terms of price.

~Support ObamaCare. ObamaCare is a step toward getting everyone in the US covered in terms of health care. Healthcare costs is one of the BIGGEST busters in terms of sinking small businesses. If that cost was spread around via a single payer system, then that would really level the playing field for small businesses.

~Total Survelliance of our poltiicans and the lobbyists they are in bed with. Large corporations have unfair influence in DC through the mega-millions they spend on lobbying and campaign contributions, etc. This needs to be cleaned up.

~Auditing the FED. This is incredibly important because we really have no idea what the hell is going on there and why the large banking institutions have so much influence there. We need transparency and we just need to rip the lid off of this entire can of worms and see what is going on. I mean how else can we fix it, if we don't know what the hell is going on? My instincts tell me there is some really underhanded crap going on there - otherwise, why would there be all of this secrecy.

~Revamp the tax code. We need to get rid of corporate loop holes and tax shelters than unfairly tilt the playing field in favor to the large corporations - and maybe we can even give some small incentives to small busineses. Lower interest rates on first time small business owners, or something like that.

~Last of all, we need to have lower fines for small businesses while raising the fines for big corporations that dont meet environmental standards, etc. Also lower fees for small business licenses, permits, etc.

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